Possible Side Effects

Proton Therapy

With all forms of radiation therapy, including proton therapy, serious side effects can occur. They are usually caused by damage to normal cells during treatment. Side effects can occur at any time during your treatment and may be cumulative, which means they may increase during your treatment. They can be minor or severe, depending on the size and location of the tumor, your disease state, your general medical condition, and the treatment technique used.

Proton therapy is an entirely non-invasive procedure that may offer fewer side effects than those associated with traditional radiotherapy, such as fatigue, pain, loss of appetite,¹ and nausea.² There is also less risk of developing secondary cancers.³

  1. Wang XS, Shi Q, Williams LA, et al. Prospective Study of Patient-Reported Symptom Burden in Patients With Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Undergoing Proton or Photon Chemoradiation Therapy. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2016;51(5):832–838. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2015.12.316
  2. Romesser PB, Cahlon O, Scher E, et al. Proton beam radiation therapy (PBRT) results in significantly reduced toxicity compared with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for head and neck tumors that require ipsilateral radiation. Radiother Oncol. 2016;118(2):286–292.
  3. Eaton BR, MacDonald SM, Yock TI, Tarbell NJ. Secondary Malignancy Risk Following Proton Radiation Therapy. Front Oncol. 2015;5:261.